The bathrooms in this house were the source of a lot of comedy. They are in need of updating sure, but seriously, the main bath goes way beyond that. I truly regret not entering them into some sort of contest for “worst bathrooms in need of updates”, before we began to tackle them. Anyone who has seen them will be aghast that it took us over two years to get around to them. We have one left to do, so here is the update on the first two.
We have settled on a few themes for our house. One is wiggly lines, that is because we have decided to lean into the idea that this house may not have any straight lines, and also because we love the contrast between the tight linear look of modern clean lines and the organic feel of seeing that contrasted with some wiggles and swerves of against those clean edges. The other is to add some bright bold coloured walls to the spaces. We have painted one wall in some of the rooms as a surprise pop of colour; it is something you might not even notice until you are well into the rooms.
The downstairs bathroom is not exactly tragic, but it was a bit of a mishmash of design and sad at the very least. For this bathroom, we painted most of the walls, Sherwin Williams Dorian Grey, which is around the rest of the house as well, and then we chose this gorgeous vibrant orange called, Determined as the feature colour and highlighted the corner wall.
We replaced the pedestal sink with a more practical slate coloured vanity and white sink and counter. We took out the beige toilet and put in a one-piece modern one in white. All of the fixtures are now brushed nickel in a much more contemporary style, as well as the mirror and light fixtures in glass and brushed nickel as well.
Overall it is a much more practical design, with a fresh contemporary update.
Upstairs is a whole other deal. It is a huge bathroom with a weird layout. The toilet is situated at an angle in the corner behind the door. The bath is in a box surround under the windows, with a thick aquamarine coloured carpeted step leading up to it. The royal blue Formica countertop is on a long angled oak dresser with a tiny robin’s egg blue sink placed at another angle on the end of it. Everything is a different shade and colour of blue; sky blue walls, royal blue counter, robins egg fixtures, cornflower blue flowers on the tiles. To tie it all together, all fixtures are brass, there is oak trim around everything, including the toilet seat, and they put laminate tile on the floor and did the step in an oceanic blue plush. Does it sound gorgeous? Well, no. It is not.
We ran into the typical list of unforeseen issues with this reno as with the others we have done. During the demo we realized we would need to move the plumbing in order to update the tub. This meant opening up the floor, where we found the angle of the pipes did not allow for the drain to flow properly from where it is currently at. We called a plumber who found a solution relatively easily but as with all solutions, you can only have two of the three desires. We want it to be inexpensive, done fast and done well… so since we had a way to do it well, and fast we would need to pay through the nose. Instead, we switched to good and slow which made it relatively affordable, but it was definitely not ready for when our next round of guests arrived.
We also found a wasps nest farm under the flooring and had to investigate the access and seal that up for the future. These creatures are industrious. They do beautiful work, but I would really rather they stay out of our joists!
The next hurdle was re-drywalling where the tub surround and tiled wall came half-way up the walls under the window. Robert handled that incredibly well… I always panic if the drywall is not going to be able to be seamed beautifully, but he really made it work.
The floor is now a dark grey porcelain tile with darker grout laid out at an angle. This was Robert’s first tile job and he researched it like it was a university degree in tile laying. He did a brilliant job, it is super solid, flat and professional looking. There are a few spots where we might do things differently, but those are the lessons you cant learn without attempting a DIY, and really it is quite hidden, so not a big deal.
The new white contemporary style tub, toilet, sink and counter create a really clean look. We bought the vanity we wanted and changed the stainless handles to match the other fixtures, lighting, mirrors, taps, towel rods and such to a brushed nickel and a more contemporary and curved design which finishes it off nicely.
We replaced all of the trim with a wider MDF product to make it more contemporary and painted it all white. The highlight wall in this bath is mythical purple, and the rest of the bath is also the Dorian grey from the darker of the two around the rest of the house reno. There is a huge wall in this bath so we are looking for something to use for storage that will fit nicely into this space. Overall it is now a fresh, clean, contemporary space with significantly fewer ridiculous details to ponder!